The hope of Joe???

by Joe Hern

I say, "The same hopes you have. That I will retain my health, my
happiness, that I will be touched by as few tragedies as possible, that my
car will start in the morning, that the sun will shine again, they I will
never lose my appreciation for the beauty of a spring morning... the list is
endless... what things do YOU hope for?"

When they inevitably ask, "But what about AFTER this life.. what do you hope
for?" I say, "That I leave a legacy behind that helps someone still living.
I hope I will have made a difference in one's life, and as I lay on my
deathbed, I never want to say "I wish I had spent more time on [insert
activity here]" .

They will inevitably repeat, "But AFTER life.. for YOU.. where YOU will be..
what do you hope for?"

I say "Exactly what I just explained.. that I lived my life with few
regrets, and if I have That when I die, if there be any afterlife, that will
be enough.. that I lived life to the fullest."

That will then transition into a discussion about what 'living life to the
fullest' is, and they will claim living life for God is such, and that is
where you revert right back to something similar to the opening response: "I
don't need to believe in God to be healthy, to love life, to appreciate a
purple flower on a spring morning, to love my neighbor, and to cry at sad
movies. My life is full, and complete. I think it is so sad that believers
feel they need God to have a full life, and that if an atheist's life is
full, it is because Satan is helping them. That's so sad, and all I can do
in response to that is shake my head and accept that they will feel that way
and there is nothing I can say or do to get them to realize they don't need
God for ANYthing they have in their life."

They will response that God gives them 'peace' and 'knowledge of where they
are going when they die". You can say, "I have peace too, and knowledge of
where I am going where I die is not necessary for happiness. I can convince
myself all I want that when I die, I will be surrounded by gold and sunshine
and ice-cream. And true, I will feel 'peace' that is where I am going when I
die. But it is not necessary to attach myself to that belief. I do not fear
'what if I am wrong' as most theists do. I find it a sad life to live when
one DOES fear 'if they are wrong'.


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